Workers’ Compensation Questions Answered: Is it legal for an employer to fire you while you have an open workers’ compensation claim for missing work to go to doctor appointments?

Aug 21, 2014 | WC & Other Laws

Is it legal for an employer to fire you while you have an open workers’ compensation claim for missing work to go to doctor appointments? – As it always seems to be with lawyers, the answer is – it depends.  One of the confusing things about the law is that all sorts of different laws – state and federal – can apply to the same situation.

Missing work to go to doctor appointments

The Colorado Workers’ Compensation Act does not prohibit an employer from firing you – however, if you are fired for no fault of your own during your medical treatment and you have restrictions, then the Workers’ Compensation Insurance carrier must pay you two-thirds of the lost wages.

If you do not have restrictions, or the Doctor has said you are at MMI, then you likely will not get wage loss from workers’ compensation insurance – however – you could get unemployment if you worked at your employment for at least three months.

If you have worked for your employer for over a year, and your employer has more than 50 employees during the year – then you cannot be fired for taking time for medical appointments unless your total time off work exceeds twelve weeks.  This is covered in the Federal Family Medical Leave Act.

Can you prove it?

If you can prove the real reason the employer fired you was for seeking workers’ compensation benefits, then you might have a retaliatory discharge lawsuit.

If you can prove that your employer could have reasonably accommodated you and that you could still satisfactorily perform all of the requirements of the job, then you might have a claim under the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Remember there are a lot of “mights” and “possiblys” in the above – and to really understand how the law affects your particular situation, you should consult with a lawyer.

As always, how this or any other case we discuss in this blog would apply to your case depends on many more factors.  We urge you to call us to see if you are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits.

Related Topic: Can I Be Fired For Pretend Reasons When I Am Workers’ Compensation?

We’re here to help.

Have you or a loved one suffered a workplace injury in Colorado? At Kaplan Morrell, we’re here to support you. Our expert team is just a call or text away at 970-356-9898. You can also easily reach out to a member of our Workers’ Compensation Claim team through our chat feature right here.

Rest assured, every consultation with us is not only free but also held in the strictest confidence. Let Kaplan Morrell guide you toward the peace of mind and benefits you deserve.

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